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Nigeria, EFA and the MDGs

Unless urgent steps are taken, Nigeria and other African countries may not achieve the Millennium Development Goals  and Education For All (EFA) by 2015.

THE United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Assistant Director-General for Education, Paris, Mr. Qian Tang, told the Nigerian Tribune in Abuja at the end of the 8th E-9 Ministerial Review Meeting held from June 21 to 24, that most  countries had not demonstrated strong political will to implement the needed recommendations by UNESCO for attainment of EFA and MDGs.

He said it was sad to note that the management report for EFA, which was published yearly, providing data on countries’ budget to education “in terms of Gross Domestic Product (DGP), only few countries reach six per cent, while a lot of others reach four or less than four per cent voted to education.”

Mr. Tang pointed out that without adequate funding there was no way the countries, especially developing nations, could “achieve the goals and that is why we have always said that countries spend four to six per cent of their GDP to education.”

Also, ministers from the member nations of the E-9 countries, with Nigeria’s Education Minister,  Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i, chairing the meeting, also concluded that EFA Goal 4 of halving illiteracy was at a great risk of not being achieved by 2015 by some E-9 countries unless urgent action was taken.